For the last couple of months, I’ve been immersed in the peculiar world of poetry in order to produce something passable for my OU course. Today, the product of my bemused labours went off to the university for judgment and the long wait for a grade begins. Actually, anything above ‘WTF is that!’ will suffice. I did the required 40 lines; I put my name on the paper; I didn’t take the mick. That’s a pass, surely?
So did I learn anything? Well, for a start, I found that poetry describes itself in terms of both feet and meters, thereby flouting European Directives on measurement, which may still be a hanging offence in parts of Scotland. Worse, I discovered that poets communicate using an exclusive and arcane language that looks like a hybrid of algebra and a medieval incantation. There are iambic pentameters, metonymys, tankas, and tragic flaws. There are also words I’m pretty sure have been made up and get changed, like code, so that only the Insiders know what they mean. I’m onto them though. These are some of the ones I think I’ve figured out:
Trochee: an operation you have when you’ve got your breathing spaces wrong in your performance poetry [cf trocheeostomy]
Enjambment: a distortion of enjambonment which is a crush at the ham counter of Sainsbury’s, or any branch of the Doggerel Bank.
Synecdoche: a form of currency used by the old East London Jewish community [cf 'That's a faarkin ridiculous amount of dosh!' in reference to the salaries of Premier League footballers.]
Quatrain: Gene Hunt’s off-roader.
Squint poetry: poetry written in size 8 font.
Anapest: a type of wallpaper that obliterates structural flaws.
Caesura: poetry needing radical surgery that ends up delivering a litter of haikus
A Found Poem: something Network Rail Lost Property won’t let you have back even if you can prove it’s yours and no one else wants it anyway.
And now for something sensible; a book reading by Dean Koontz in Second Life: